Local radio broadcaster Larry Walk is celebrating a monumental  anniversary of his Happy Polkaland radio shows this month. Happy Polkaland first aired May 1964 on WNIO-AM as a half-hour show, and soon expanded to three hours every Sunday. Due to its success, a Saturday morning show followed on WKST-AM in New Castle, Pa., and a Saturday afternoon show on WFAR-AM. Over the decades, Walk’s show has been featured on multiple stations. It currently can be heard on WHKZ AM-14401 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; and also on WSOM AM-600, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The show is also streamed at
Walk started producing and promoting the Penn-Ohio polka festivals in the Idora Park ballroom in 1967. With the closing of Idora, Walk moved the festivals to the Yankee Lake ballroom for two seasons, then to Conneaut Lake Park’s ballroom. Due to the success of the festivals, Walk produced the Penn-Ohio polka festivals in other venues, including Pittsburgh, Butler, Pa., and East Liverpool. He has booked, entertained and emceed the Penn-Ohio polka cruises for the Gateway Clipper Fleet in Pittsburgh for about
50 years and continues to do so this season. In 2004, Walk’s wife to be, Diana, joined the show. Their marriage lasted until her untimely death in 2015. Walk was entered the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in 1994, and was named “Outstanding Career in Broadcasting” by the  Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Congratulations Larry! Editor’s note: This gal learned to dance the polka in my family’s kitchen prepping Sunday dinner every week. To me, this guy IS Youngstown polka! Couldn’t be more grateful for all of the support he has given PolishYoungstown from its first event in St Casimir’s basement to this very day!

Volunteer to be part of our Downtown Youngstown festival
Simply Slavic Heritage Festival organizers are inviting Mahoning Valley amateur bakers to show their skills and put their favorite recipe to the test in the annual Slavic Baking Competition on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at SMARTS in the Ohio One Building, 25 E. Boardman Street in Downtown Youngstown. Entries can be delivered anytime between 10 am - 12 pm.  Judging will begin at 1 pm with winners announced by 2 PM. Bakers should plan to be present. Taking place one week in advance of the festival, this fun, friendly contest encourages talented amateur bakers to show their skills by putting their favorite ethnic bake goods and recipes in front of local Slavic celeb judges. Entries will be judged on three criteria – Taste (50%), Authenticity (25%) and Presentation (25%). For more information call Simply Slavic Baking Contest Chair Mary Margaret Hovanes at 330-792-6281 or email

News from Around Polonia
Cleveland’s Polish Cultural Garden honors Saint JPII
Saturday, May 18 marked the 99th birthday of St John Paul II and a grand celebration in Cleveland as another Polish notable was added to the lovely lovely Polish Cultural Garden.  Numerous clergy, including Bishop Gries and Cleveland-area dignitaries celebrated the blessing and dedication of Polish-born, his Highest Holiness Saint John Paul II. Present was renowned Polish-American sculptor Andrej Pitynski who created the bronze bust. Connie Adams, Garden Chair, Gene Bak, Gary Kotlarsic and the Polish American Cultural Center spearheaded the effort to honor Saint John Paul II. In September 1969, Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyla (later to be JPII) visited Cleveland and said Mass at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus. The Polish Cultural Garden in Cleveland displays busts of several famous Poles: Copernicus, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Frédéric Chopin, Madame Marie Sklodowska Curie, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Adam Mickiewicz. They circle a beautiful fountain in the Garden at the corner of East Blvd and St. Clair in Cleveland. Founded in 1916, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens are one of Northeast Ohio’s oldest and most beautiful treasures. More than 31 gardens, designed and cultivated by distinct cultural or nationality groups, adorn the drive along Martin Luther King Boulevard and East Boulevard in Rockefeller Park. They represent the diversity and multiculturalism that is Cleveland, and bring life to the Gardens’ mission of “peace through mutual understanding.”

News from Poland by Ted Mirecki
Will a Documentary Take Down the Polish Government?
Following sexual-abuse scandals in the United States, Britain, Ireland and Australia, it seems that the Roman Catholic Church may be on the verge of a similar catastrophe in Poland. But whereas the blowback from previous scandals has been largely confined to the church itself, this latest crisis could take down the country’s right-wing government as well — and undermine the tight grip the church holds over Polish society. Released on YouTube in Polish, “Tell No One,” by the well-known journalist Tomasz Sekielski, was viewed 10 million times in the first two days. The priests involved include the personal chaplain of Lech Walesa, the Solidarity hero, who initially refused to believe the story, but ultimately condemned the cleric. Learn more about this NYTIMES story and more in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch.

Calendar Highlights
Friday June 14 Simply Slavic Preview Nite w Chardon Polka Band...Saturday June 15 Simply Slavic... July 13-14 YSU Summer Festival of the Arts...Saturday, July 20 Krakusy Society Polish Summer Picnic... August 4 Polka Cruise with Lenny Gomulka & Larry Walk, emcee, Gateway Clipper Cruise, Pittsburgh...Sunday, August 18 Polish Day 2019!  And you know there will be more to come!

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team



Polish Media Watch

Polish Media Watch

Polish Happy Hour


Newletter Signup

Follow Us Here

Support Us